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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

898 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 898
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 22.29%
Wants: 20
Gots: 162 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: EgadBananas on 05-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 898 | Reviews: 440 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany/black with a pinky of brown colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, cocoa, a little anise

T: Molasses, plums, carob& dryness up front, some cherry boozeyness & leafy hops. Molasses, stone fruit & ainise as this warms with a touch of oakyness. Finishes with cherry, oaky notes, booze warmth & a bit more molasses & carob, plus just a bit caramel, chicory & oddly; cayenne pepper

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, somewhat slick

This is a quirky kind of RIS, but I do think that Stone's claims of historical accuracy are valid. Many years ago I tried courage RIS in England, this reminds me of that beer in many ways. I prefer the "Americanized versions, but this is interesting & good enough I would buy again

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 23:21:56 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

07-16-2013 02:20:48 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I appreciate Stone's willingness to go against the trends with a spice that is not used as frequently which is my disclaimer...however I guess it has to be a spice you are very fond of.

A dark black looking stout with thick cream of light brown -looks good with tight bead and opaque clarity, lace sticks okay. The smell is where I don't really enjoy the beer as much -the first sense of it going awry anyway. I am not much of a fan of black licorice which is exactly what this smells like-black twizzlers ugh. The feel is okay but a bit clean with the spice erasing the sense of malt and leaving the palate a little too cool for the style I am supposed to be enjoying it is like a medicinal almost minty quality which seems like a natural mouthwash or witchhazel maybe.

The flavor is good but the anise comes into the flavor of the stout midway and just overtakes any flavor of coffee or oak or vanilla or caramel that you wish you would be tasting or might get in the original. The taste is almost like rootbeer it is so herbal and earthy as one of my compatriots mentioned during our tasting. I suppose if I were a huge fan on Anise I would be in love with the taste. I am not so pissed that I would dump this or stop drinking it but feel like the original beer has suffered by the heavy handed anise addition. I guess the review already gives you an idea why I gave the overall score of 3 -it is flavor I personally find to detract from the overall enjoyment of the stout so buyer beware.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 16:15:24 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice large fluffy thick 1 finger darker head that fades at a medium pace with some thick lacing, over pitch black beer, no light coming through there.

Nose is kinda weird, plenty of anise in there, but not spicy anise. It has some sweet sugars and a light cinnamon, kinda like those Italian anise flavored snowflake shaped cookies. Some light chocolate, hint of cocoa, a bit of roast, some vanilla and a light toasty oak.

taste brings plenty more anise, again not spicy or crazy, but a light but definite anise, but not really licorice either, its weird. Again some sweet malts and hint of cinnamon as well as other nutty spices bring a anise cookie flavor. Some creamy chocolate, hints of roast and cocoa, some caramel and darker malt flavors. A slight darker fruit and Belgian stout like roundness (if you know what I mean). The sweetness comes lighter but there, and brings some warming and slightly tingly booze. Some vanilla and hints of toasted oak round off the flavors. Some bitterness comes through partly from roasted malts and partly from a bit of earthy hops, which seem to pop up at the finish but are quickly pushed back down by the spicy booze and anise flavors that linger for a while.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, creamy, decent carbonation for the style, and warming and spicy booze.

Overall not bad but not great either. The anise is at least not overpowering, but not quite what I was hoping. Interesting but weird flavors, the darker malts are there but not as big as it should have been, and the anise cookie flavor and aroma was interesting but not quite right for this beer IMO.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 01:48:17 | More by jlindros
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is straight black licorice with a little bit of roasted malt and chocolate mixed in. The flavor is even more one dimensional than the aroma. Other than the black licorice, I don't get anything, which is very disappointing. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. The anise/licorice really took over this beer, resulting in a beer I did not care for.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 22:21:28 | More by Mora2000
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

04-17-2014 03:06:15 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had a bottle of this in my fridge for a few months, finally decided to crack it on this cool fall night. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my DFH tulip.

a - Pours a near black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.. Head lasts for several minutes with an inch lasting throughout drinking, and a little bit of lacing left on the glass. Looks amazing, and just like the normal Imperial Russian Stone.

s - Smells strongly of anise and black licorice, as expected. Also smells of roasted malts, light chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. The anise dominates the nose.

t - Tastes of black licorice and anise again, followed by alcohol, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and bitter coffee. Again, the anise dominates, and the alcohol comes through more than the normal IRS.

m - Full bodied stout and moderate carbonation evident. Thick and creamy, with a little alcohol heat, but good for a big stout.

o - Overall not a porrly made stout, but not for me. I must admit I am not the biggest anise fan, but Stone's IRS is one of my favorite RIS' I've ever had, so I had to try this one. The anise is just so powerful, even after several months, that I couldn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked. Wouldn't buy it again but if you like anise, this would probably be worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 00:29:45 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Truly one of the most memorable beers of the last couple of years. Very dark but more dark golden brown than black. A nice spritziness with a decent beige head. Thick bodied, though not as syrupy as a Barleywine.

Sweet with a candy and fruity flavor. The anise taste is like a liqueur. I don't even like licorice but I find this very drinkable in a totally off-beat way. Loads of dark malt, a touch of burnt sugar, caramel. But also sharp and tart in a fruity way.

I am not a big fan of Stone brews, but this one is audacious enough-- but well made-- to be likeable.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 06:16:35 | More by mactrail
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a medium off-white head, good retention and lace.

S: Black licorice and anise city. This is the defining smell, with a light amount of dark chocolate.

T: Very good mix of heavy cacao count chocolate and the prerequisite anise character. A very good mix that works well. The complexity allows this version of the Stone IRS to be much more appealing young than the regular. I'm really enjoying the Stone Belgian creations.

M: Full-bodied, very smooth, soft carbonation.

O: This is a very good imperial stout. I'm very partial to anise, and maybe that's why I like it so much, nevertheless, this is something to try for sure even with my bias.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2011 00:02:10 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown where light only passes through the glass edge. Tan head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Leaves ring lace after each sip.

Dark malt aroma with a light tinge of licorice. No coffee or dark chocolate smells.

Imagine Good-n-Plenty dissolved in a dry porter. It doesn't have any of the burnt elements of a Stout. I'm fascinated by the taste--this unlike any beer I've ever had. So, I have to give it points for originality. The main taste and the aftertaste is mostly licorice (anise). Thinner than most stouts.

Worthy of a try because it is a very different beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 01:17:20 | More by smcolw
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 1/4" tan head. No lacing develops.

Smell: anise is up front with some roasted tones in the background.

Taste: big roasted malt flavors with copious amounts of anise, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, and some moderate earthy tones. Decent bitterness levels. Alcohol is definitely warming here.

Mouthfeel:medium-heavy in body. Crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Definite dryness arrives late.

Overall. Very slow drinking beer. Anise is unique but becomes a bit overwhelming as the glass empties.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 20:59:42 | More by Gavage
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

2/5  rDev -42.9%

06-30-2014 13:31:06 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

07-04-2014 15:47:07 | More by GClarkage
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

1.75/5  rDev -50%

05-03-2013 19:14:11 | More by imperialking
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Poured jet black, brown head, plenty of bubbles and lacing. A very good pour leaving one sexy looking beer

S: Dark, bitter chocolate, roastiness, coffee, booze, liquorice, wood

T: To much anise for me is the first thing I noticed. Very in your face. Roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, booze and roasted notes, wood, Belgian yeast leaves some warming spice and even an underlying bubblegum pop to it.

M: Big and full, hearty. No issues.

O: I made it through half the bottle before the overbearing anise just did me in. I did not want anymore. I applaud anyone who stomachs a bomber of this

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 16:41:33 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone bomber, 2011 "odd year" offering. Typical IRS presentation, thick mocha head stays for a good long while. Tiny bubble sheen, scattered lacing.

Complex nose, chocolate, smokey burnt malts, licorish, dark fruits.

Flavorful, complex, well crafted, alot going on here. Follows the theme started by the nose, more smoke, chocolate, licorish, figs, a late minty note, dry and clean in the finish. Delicious stout, Belgian twist adds to the complexity and interest. Smooth and tasty on the tongue. Go get some of this interesting brew, would love to try it with a charred steak or with a fruity chocolate dessert....c'mon people..the numbers for the reviews of this one are way out of whack

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 01:53:26 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black inky body with a thick creamy and bubbly tan head that last a long bit. There are sticky sheets of foam that hold to the glass after each sip leaving register marks. The beer is a bit to dense to see any carbonation.

S- The woody root beer and anise aroma is full and doesn't allow for any roasted malt character to come through. It is not really offensive just 1-dimentional

T- The inky black roasted malt has a dubble bubble bubble gum hint and a dark nougat note underneath. There is a mellow but full anise flavor that fades into a inky bitter bite that lingers after each sip. As the beer opens there is more of a root beer quality to the anise flavor.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a touch of fizz in the finish and the alcohol is well hided with only a soft warmth coming through as the beer warms.

O- The anise flavor dominates and the clash is similar to brushing your teeth and drinking a Russian Imperial Stout. I get very little roasted malt flavor and don't notice any of the yeast character or barrel character coming through at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 21:00:56 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -14.3%

12-13-2013 03:18:49 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lightproof black colored beer with a small brown head.

Smell is strongly of smoke and licorice. There is a little chocolate cake scent here but licorice real obscures any other scents.

Starts out sweet and thick with a sharp metallic hit of something on the tongue. Chocolate and patent malt with the taste of green Anise bulb. Tastes different from anise the spice. This tastes like Anise the Italian vegetable. There is a green vegetable taste here that is a bit of a twang on the taste-buds. Tastes frankly a bit weird and I LOVE black Jellybeans.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is a miss here. The green anise just clashes with the rest of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 03:56:22 | More by Zorro
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev 0%

12-05-2011 01:34:32 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -14.3%

11-15-2011 02:06:57 | More by orangesol
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as night with a tan head that fades pretty quickly. I wasn't sure what to expect with this beer- specifically, how intense the anise was, how sweet the beer was, and how many other flavors were brought to the party to balance things. The answer is that the anise is very dominant in the beer. It starts off very dry and reminds me strikingly of Swedish licorice candies, which are not very sweet, but display a burst of dry licorice flavor. As the beer warms and opens up, it becomes sweeter and more like a pastis. Either way, the dominant flavor is by far anise with its strong licorice notes. You get this in both the nose and taste. I happen to like licorice flavors, so I enjoyed the beer fairly well. My wife, who loves RISs, but isn't a huge fan of licorice, couldn't drink this beer at all- total drain pour for her. I could certainly understand how you could go either way here. I do think the beer is a tad too sweet, regardless, and is fairly one note- the other stout flavors are buried by the anise. It is nice and creamy, and if you love anise you'll probably love the beer. I think it's drinkable, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 03:18:55 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Pours a midnight black into the snifter, off white/brown head forms and leaves little lacing. Looks appealing and dark. Aroma full of anise, with some oaky suggestions as well. In the flavor, big roasted malt, big anise, some well defined oak/vanilla/wood notes pairing well and even cutting some of the anise flavors. A small piney hop is noticed cold, but upon warming is lost. Mouthfeel is full bodied but ultra smooth. Overall, not an every day drinker, but a nice brewing experiment.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 15:16:49 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at Matt's (slatetank) birthday stout tasting.

The Belgo Anise pours a blackish brown color with fairly good head retention and minimal lacing. On the nose.... good grief!!! The licorice aroma in this beer is completely overpowering, making it impossible to detect anything else. Also, while I think a hint of licorice is fine in the aroma profile of an IRS, this is just completely over the top. The flavorful profile is nearly as bad, though as the beer warmed up a bit, I started to get detect a hint of chocolate and coffee. However, the anise flavor continues to completely dominate the flavor profile, which adds an extra added degree of sweetness that I really don't care for. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, smooth, licorice finish. Also, I should add that this beer is pretty boozy, which coupled with the licorice and sweetness, really hurts this beer's drinkability. I cannot imagine trying to drink a bottle of this stuff.

Uggghhh.... You have to give Stone credit for experimenting and trying new things, but this is one experiment that didn't pan out (IMHO).

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 16:32:59 | More by John_M
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

11-20-2011 03:20:41 | More by brandoman63
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.